“Gossip” premieres at the high school

“Gossip” premieres at the high school

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Back row from left: Sarahrae Gruner and Julia Cooper. Front row: Derek Rogers, Alyssa Cimeno, and Helena Demoe.

Gossip? Here on the Vineyard? Never. Well… maybe at the Post Office once in a while. But up on stage? Only at the high school.

“Gossip” is an original play by the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) Drama Department’s BravÉncore Troupe. Its premiere run is this Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 16–18, at the Performing Arts Center at the high school.

Plot

Rumor Mills is the hometown of this 40-minute production that depicts the social life in a small town all a-twitter with speculation about an upcoming live television talk show that will air from the town’s local auditorium on Valentine’s Day.

“Gossip” is a comedic play, a rollercoaster ride through the daily life of quirky locals and their conversations, ending with an exhilarating and romantic reveal, according to the press release.

So unlike the Vineyard (ha-ha), the cast of characters is all over the map. They include a very private, newly employed teacher; a boisterous Texan who owns a rib joint; a flamboyant gossipy hairdresser; a girl who never talks, but seems to have a deep secret; a young rap artist who becomes a sensation overnight; and three old folks who never leave the general store porch. Right, not a bit like life on the Vineyard.

Theater Guild Festival

For the past five years, the MVRHS Drama Department has participated as the BravÉncore Troupe in the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) High School Festival. This year they are sending the largest group to date, 32 students, to perform “Gossip,” which was created entirely by students, alumni, and staff.

The festival includes 115 one-act plays produced by member high schools. The competition is organized on three levels – preliminary, semi-final, and state. Student excellence in acting and technical design is recognized at each level, including the selection of an All-Star Company at the finals. Two schools are chosen at the State Festival to represent Massachusetts in the New England Drama Festival, the regional showcase of secondary school theater.

The BravÉncore Troupe collected five awards at last year’s festival.

The process is designed to help MVRHS theater students learn to create and develop new plays. The students learn important skills during the process — auditioning, producing, designing, and working as an ensemble.

The gossip on the street, influenced by a history of fine productions at the high school, is that Islanders should pay attention to this “Gossip.”

MVRHS and BravEncore present premiere of “Gossip,” Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Feb. 16–18, 7 pm; Saturday matinée at 4 pm. $10; $7 seniors & students. Performing Arts Center, M.V. Regional High School, Oak Bluffs. Self rated PG-13. This play may not be suitable for all audiences: Adult language/content/humor.